Travel document and border security focus of Ukrainian minister visit to INTERPOL
LYON, France – The importance of border and travel document security were key issues during discussions between Ukraine’s Minister of the Interior Anatolii Mohylov and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble during a visit by the minister to the world police body’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon today.
Ukraine was among the first countries to waive visa entry requirements to INTERPOL passport bearers, thus allowing officers travelling on official business to enter the country without the delay of processing procedures.
With Ukraine co-hosting the 2012 Euro football championships, plans to expand access to INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database to airports and other border control points was also high on the agenda.
Ensuring that all visitors have their passports checked against the SLTD database, which currently contains nearly 23 million documents from 153 countries, has been a major part of security arrangements for other major sporting events, with 2008 hosts Switzerland and Austria both providing direct SLTD access to border control points, as well as 2010 FIFA world cup hosts South Africa.
“Ukraine is committed to working with INTERPOL and our law enforcement partners around the world to make sure that our borders are secure and our citizens are safe,” said Minister Mohylov.
The Ukrainian delegation, which included First Deputy Minister Serhii Chernykh and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Kiev, Vasil Nevolia, was also updated on the latest developments to the INTERPOL travel document.
Describing Ukraine as a valued law enforcement partner, Secretary General Noble highlighted the recent joint police operation in Berlin between Ukrainian and German law enforcement officers which led to the recovery of a stolen Caravaggio painting snatched from the country’s Museum of Western European and Oriental Art in Odessa in July 2008.
Their ‘exemplary international collaboration’ resulted in three Ukrainians and one Russian national being detained in Berlin, and the dismantling of a suspected international criminal gang, with 20 alleged accomplices also held in Ukraine.
“The success of this joint operation, combined with Ukraine’s use of INTERPOL’s tools ahead of and during the Euro 2012 football championships which will attract thousands of visitors, clearly shows their determination to play a significant role in enhancing security both abroad and at home, now and for the future,” said Secretary General Noble.